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Congressman Ruben Hinojosa Blasts Governor Perry on his Opposition to the Affordable Care Act

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From Congressman Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX-15):

"When the Governor of Texas is quoted making false statements saying Texas has some of the finest health care in the world, it makes many wonder what in the world is he thinking," said Congressman Hinojosa."Yes, Texas has some of the best medical facilities in the world, but if one fourth of all Texans cannot access them we are not serving our residents as best we can. Texas ranks at the bottom of all of the states when it comes to the number of residents who have health insurance. Because of Governor Rick Perry's decision to slam the door on the Affordable Care Act, Texas will continue to have the most uninsured residents."

These are the facts Governor Perry fails to recognize. One in four Texans are uninsured, the highest rate of any state. The Medicaid expansion would cover 49.4 percent of uninsured Texans by 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The program is broadened to cover Americans within 133 percent of the poverty line -- currently the eligibility for a working Texan parent cuts off at 27 percent. The federal government will cover the full cost of the first three years and pay 90 percent thereafter.

"Though our medical providers do the best they can to offer health care to Texans, we should not and must not turn our backs on providing a better and more thorough health care system that would help 1.3 million more Texans through Medicaid expansion alone," said U.S. Rep. Hinojosa. "Governor Perry will soon realize that turning down billions of federal dollars that actually lowers the state deficit, is a huge mistake that in turn will be very costly for the residents of Texas. The masses of uninsured in Texas will end up seeking care in emergency rooms putting the financial burden directly back on Texans."

Look at what the Affordable Care Act would do for the 15th Congressional District of Texas:

* Provide health insurance to over 200,000 people

* Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 187,000 families and 10,800 small businesses to help them afford coverage

* Guarantee that 29,700 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage

* Provide millions of dollars in new funding for 24 community health centers

Helping Small Businesses:

* Helping small businesses obtain health insurance. Under the legislation, small businesses with 100 employees or less will be able to join the health insurance exchange, benefiting from group rates and a greater choice of insurers. There are 12,000 small businesses in the district that could benefit from this provision.

* Tax credits for small businesses. Small businesses with 25 employees or less and average wages of less than $50,000 will qualify for tax credits of up to 50% of the costs of providing health insurance. There are up to 10,800 small businesses in the district that could qualify for these credits.

Closing the Medicare Part D donut hole:

Last year, roughly 237,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Texas hit the donut hole, or gap in Medicare Part D drug coverage, and received no additional help to defray the cost of their prescription drugs. As of early August 2011, 42,247 of seniors in Texas have already received their $250 tax free rebate for hitting the donut hole. These checks began being mailed out in mid-June and will continue to be mailed out monthly through the year as more beneficiaries hit the donut hole. The new law continues to provide additional discounts for seniors on Medicare in the years ahead and closes the donut hole by 2020.

Lowering the deficit:

Unlike the 2003 Republican Medicare Part D law, which was passed in the dead of night and added hundreds of billions of dollars to our deficit, the Affordable Care is fully paid for, and will in fact lower the deficit by more than $1 trillion over the next two decades.

Helping Latinos:

The Affordable care Act will create for the first time a National Institute on Minority Health which will monitor health, health care trends, and quality of care among minority patients and evaluate the success of minority health programs and initiatives.

Congressman Hinojosa added, "When Governor Perry shuts the door on the Affordable Care Act, he is hurting you and your family and all Texans."


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